Queensland Maritime Museum Anniversary Celebration of the Lucinda
Queensland Maritime Museum Association Chair, Captain Kasper Kuiper; Board Members; staff, volunteers and all supporters of the Queensland Maritime Museum.
Graeme and I are honoured to be with you for today’s historic plaque unveiling.
I too acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands, the Turrbal and Jagera peoples, and extend my heartfelt respectful greetings and best wishes to Elders and emerging leaders.
The story of the Queensland Government Steam Yacht, Lucinda, is one of adventures and accomplishments, sadly followed by a slow, unfortunate demise.
Yet hers is also a story of great significance, not only to Queensland, but to the entire Commonwealth of Australia.
I am therefore so grateful that the Queensland Maritime Museum continues to honour her important contribution – keeping her memory alive through the carefully preserved Lucinda collection and the magnificent replica Smoking Room we are, in part, celebrating today.
Lucinda must have been a magnificent sight when she steamed into Brisbane in May 1885.
She was described as “a strikingly handsome looking vessel”, and her name itself – with its vice-regal connection to the wife of then Governor Sir Anthony Musgrave – meant she was bound for an important, busy working life.
For 35 years, she sailed the waters of Brisbane, Queensland and beyond in an official capacity: transporting Governors and Premiers to their destinations; and greeting royalty, alongside more relaxed duties such as carrying children to annual bayside picnics.
It was, of course, on board Lucinda, over the Easter weekend of March 1891, that a group of powerful figures in the federation movement – including that great Queensland polymath, judge and politician, Sir Samuel Griffith – met to finalise the draft of the Australian Constitution, amidst intense discussions at the Constitutional Convention in Sydney.
As Lucinda cruised the waters of the Hawkesbury River, her Smoking Room provided a peaceful, private venue to refine the document, which – without much change – would provide the framework for the birth of the Commonwealth of Australia on the first of January 1901.
The plaque I will unveil shortly memorialises other notable milestones since that historic weekend, 130 years ago, including those mentioned by Captain Kuiper.
Today as we admire the replica Smoking Room, with its finely crafted woodwork, and its atmosphere of stately grandeur, we honour the part Lucinda served in shaping our nation, even though she is no longer with us.
For their devotion and commitment to preserving Lucinda’s rich history, I thank the Chair of the Queensland Maritime Museum, Captain Kasper Kuiper, Board members, staff and volunteers, and indeed everyone – and I know there are so many others – outside the organisation, who have worked so hard to preserve her legacy.
As Governor of Queensland, I encourage Queenslanders – in fact all Australians – to visit this remarkable Museum and learn more about Lucinda and the impressive part she played in the formation of our system of government.
It is now my great honour, as 27th Governor, to officially unveil this anniversary plaque. May the Lucinda’s proud legacy sail on in our hearts and minds forevermore. Thank you.